In the eighth century monks built a small monastery (“Celle”) in what is now Unterau. Zell was first mentioned as a parish in 1187. At the end of the 15th century a Gothic church was built, which was consecrated in 1511. In 1772 the construction of the present parish church was started based on plans by the Salzburg court architect Wolfgang Hagenauer. Master mason Andrä Hueber from Kitzbühel built the church. The tower is still from the previous building. The building was completed in 1779 and the interior was finished in 1782.
The painting of the church including the imposing ceiling painting was originally done by the court painter Franz Anton Zeiller from Brixen. However, the ceremonial consecration of the church did not take place until 1808. The deanery parish church of St. Vitus is one of the most beautiful churches in our country.
Guided tours of the church available on request!
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The Maria Rast church is situated above Zell am Ziller, on the municipality of Hainzenberg territory, in the former gold mining district. In 1658, the dean of Zell am Ziller, Christoph Balthasar Merl, was given permission by the archiepiscopal Consistory of Salzburg to build a chapel on the Hainzenberg in honour of the Mother of God. This chapel was then built in 1659. He is therefore the founder of the “Maria Rast” pilgrimage on the Hainzenberg.
According to other traditions, Maria Rast is called the “miners' chapel”, which was donated by miners from the gold mine on the Hainzenberg. The miners knew how dangerous their work was, so they always went to this little church, where they turned to the Blessed Mother in trusting prayer. Gradually the place developed into a much-visited place of pilgrimage and has remained so to this day. The Maria Rast church is also extremely popular for wedding ceremonies.